Breathe Season 2 Episode 6: TWIST!!!!

Well, on the one hand, I don’t like this ridiculous implausible twist.  But on the other hand, it kind of sideways adds a tension to the danger in this particular episode.  If the show manages to use it in that way moving forward, changing the layers of tension we see onscreen, I won’t mind it.

Story: In the present, Nithya convinces the target to pull off the road for a make-out session.  Abhishek follows, Nithya handcuffs her to the car and records on her phone while Abhishek shoves the car over the side of a cliff, killing her.  In the past, we finally get the super surprising origin story for the kidnapper.  Abhishek was in a bus accident as a child which killed his loving mother and abusive father.  His relatives didn’t want him, instead sent him to a hill station boarding school where the loving principal felt sorry for him and responsible.  The principal noticed him changing his behaviors in odd ways under stress and brought him to a psychiatrist who diagnosed him with multiple personality disorder.  The “real” Abhishek is a sweet quiet sad little boy.  The other Abhishek was created by a lifetime of trauma and takes control when the “real” Abhishek is in trouble.  We also learn why this particular target is killed.  When he was a boy, she convinced Abhishek to take her back to the boy’s hostel during the break when it was empty, and kissed him.  A teacher caught them, she lied that it was all Abhishek’s idea and got away without punishment.  Abhishek’s principal/foster father was away, the other teachers punished him harshly.  No real news from the police side this episode, although there is a clue for them to find, Nithya accidentally sends a short video from the victim’s phone the night before to the TV station.

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“Split personality” is, of course, a totally lame twist.  Unless you are Fight Club of course, but everywhere else it is COMPLETELY LAME.  It also doesn’t fully track in this case, Abhishek isn’t some loner, he has a regular job, plus is a police consultant, plus has a wife and child.  When did he have the time for a double life????  Building a secret hide out and kidnapping people and all of that?  Once it is in place, how does he maintain it?  He has to sneak out regularly to bring food and stuff, but the personality is supposed to only come out under stress.  How does he manage to wake himself up regularly in order to keep his captives alive, and make sure it is a time when Nithya won’t catch him?

Plus, let’s deal with the fact that he is diagnosed as a child and his psychiatrist decides the best thing is to just do nothing and let him have his protector?  And then once the psychiatrist moves to Boston, the principal decides to not even try to find the boy more help and just let it ride?  That’s INSANE!!!!  It would have made more sense for him to have been diagnosed before his parents died, and then started fresh at school with no one knowing.  This is just bonkers.  I suppose we can learn in later episodes that his principal intended to tell him but died suddenly or something, and maybe get a backstory on why the split personality emerged now and how he managed to remain hidden.  But still, BONKERS.

What does work is the tension of knowing that, up until now, Abhishek was truly the only villain.  He kidnapped his own child, and then tricked himself into killing.  If Amit catches him, he will get the treatment he needs.  It was kind of a relief to learn the backstory and know our stressed innocent psychiatrist actually was guilty.  But then the episode keeps going, and Nithya is now firmly part of this last murder.  You want to shout at her “no no!  Stop!”, you want her to keep her hands clean and leave all the guilt on Abhishek, but too late.

Lots of questions about where we go from here!  Clearly Abhishek is working through a hit list of people who tempted him to sin in his life, but who will be picked next?  Will Abhishek ever regain his memory of the connections?  Will Nithya pull free or be ever more entangled?

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